— Published 29 January 2021

Between Tokyo and Lausanne, the current flows

With less than six months of the opening of the Olympic Games, Lausanne and Tokyo continue to speak the same language. Proof of this was again given on Thursday 28th January during a virtual exchange between Thomas Bach on the Swiss side and the pair Yoshiro Mori and Toshiro Muto on the Japanese side. The President and CEO of Tokyo 2020 then held a video conference press conference. “We hear a lot of different views on COVID-19, but we remain strong in our positions”, said the two Japanese. “President Thomas Bach has confirmed to us that he too remains confident and determined, which is a huge encouragement to us”. Yoshiro Mori revealed that the IOC President very recently wrote to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to assure him of the IOC’s support and determination. “We are going to organise a new type of Olympic Games“, assured Yoshiro Mori. Also according to the chairman of the organising committee, the exchange between Lausanne and Tokyo revolved a lot around the issue of vaccines. Yoshiro Mori explained that Japan would start its vaccination phase at the end of February, with medical staff. He specified that “people linked to the IOC, and depending on their country, the Olympic players, will be vaccinated”. But Yoshiro Mori repeated it once again, “We have had an extensive debate and discussion on the subject, and we will not consider vaccines as a prerequisite” for participation in the Games. Toshiro Muto, for his part, revealed that a meeting was scheduled for next month in Tokyo between Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, representatives of the Tokyo Games Organising Committee, and finally Thomas Bach. Another Olympic meeting is scheduled to be held in March, but this time the IOC will be represented by John Coates, the chairman of the Tokyo 2020 Games Coordination Commission.